2021

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Bouffard MA, M Mallery R, Liao YJ, Torun N. Variation in Evolving Optic Neuritis. J Neuroophthalmol 2021;Abstract
BACKGROUND: The typical natural history of optic neuritis is subjected to important exceptions. Recognition of these exceptions has led to valuable insights regarding specific etiologies of optic neuritis. Exceptions to the natural history of recovering optic neuritis are well-defined (e.g., chronic relapsing inflammatory optic neuropathy), but exceptions to the natural history of evolving optic neuritis are less so. METHODS: Medical records of patients illustrating an atypical course of evolving optic neuritis were reviewed in a retrospective manner. Each patient was treated by at least one of the authors. RESULTS: Four patients were identified who illustrated an atypical natural history of incipient optic neuritis. Diagnoses included idiopathic optic neuritis, seropositive neuromyelitis optica spectrum disease, anti-myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody disease, and multiple sclerosis in 1 patient each. Features of interest included an atypical temporal relationship between development of pain and onset of clinical optic neuropathy, an unusually protracted duration of pain, and an unusually long duration of worsening optic neuropathy before stabilization. CONCLUSIONS: This case series illustrates the substantial clinical heterogeneity which may be observed in the evolution of optic neuritis. The temporal relationship between development of pain and onset of clinical optic neuropathy, the duration of pain, and duration of worsening optic neuropathy before stabilization are all subjected to significant variability. Although most patients with optic neuritis present with painful vision loss which progresses over 1 week or less, careful attention to the exceptions described herein may facilitate earlier recognition of diagnostically challenging cases.
Braithwaite T, Adderley NJ, Subramanian A, Galloway J, Kempen JH, Gokhale K, Cope AP, Dick AD, Nirantharakumar K, Denniston AK. Epidemiology of Scleritis in the United Kingdom From 1997 to 2018: Population-Based Analysis of 11 Million Patients and Association Between Scleritis and Infectious and Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Disease. Arthritis Rheumatol 2021;73(7):1267-1276.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To estimate 22-year trends in the prevalence and incidence of scleritis, and the associations of scleritis with infectious and immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (I-IMIDs) in the UK. METHODS: The retrospective cross-sectional and population cohort study (1997-2018) included 10,939,823 patients (2,946 incident scleritis cases) in The Health Improvement Network, a nationally representative primary care records database. The case-control and matched cohort study (1995-2019) included 3,005 incident scleritis cases and 12,020 control patients matched by age, sex, region, and Townsend deprivation index. Data were analyzed using multivariable Poisson regression, multivariable logistic regression, and Cox proportional hazards multivariable models adjusted for age, sex, Townsend deprivation index, race/ethnicity, smoking status, nation within the UK, and body mass index. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated. RESULTS: Scleritis incidence rates per 100,000 person-years declined from 4.23 (95% CI 2.16-6.31) to 2.79 (95% CI 2.19-3.39) between 1997 and 2018. The prevalence of scleritis per 100,000 person-years was 93.62 (95% CI 90.17-97.07) in 2018 (61,650 UK patients). Among 2,946 patients with incident scleritis, 1,831 (62.2%) were female, the mean ± SD age was 44.9 ± 17.6 years (range 1-93), and 1,257 (88.8%) were White. Higher risk of incident scleritis was associated with female sex (adjusted IRR 1.53 [95% CI 1.43-1.66], P < 0.001), Black race/ethnicity (adjusted IRR 1.52 [95% CI 1.14-2.01], P = 0.004 compared to White race/ethnicity), or South Asian race/ethnicity (adjusted IRR 1.50 [95% CI 1.19-1.90], P < 0.001 compared to White race/ethnicity), and older age (peak adjusted IRR 4.95 [95% CI 3.99-6.14], P < 0.001 for patients ages 51-60 years versus those ages ≤10 years). Compared to controls, scleritis patients had a 2-fold increased risk of a prior I-IMID diagnosis (17 I-IMIDs, P < 0.001) and significantly increased risk of subsequent diagnosis (13 I-IMIDs). The I-IMIDs most strongly associated with scleritis included granulomatosis with polyangiitis, Behçet's disease, and Sjögren's syndrome. CONCLUSION: From 1997 through 2018, the UK incidence of scleritis declined from 4.23 to 2.79/100,000 person-years. Incident scleritis was associated with 19 I-IMIDs, providing data for rational investigation and cross-specialty engagement.
Breazzano MP, Nair AA, Arevalo FJ, Barakat MR, Berrocal AM, Chang JS, Chen A, Eliott D, Garg SJ, Ghadiali Q, Gong D, Grewal DS, Handa JT, Henderson M, Leiderman YI, Leng T, Mannina A, Mendel TA, Mustafi D, de Koo LOC, Patel SN, Patel TP, Prenner J, Richards P, Singh RP, Wykoff CC, Yannuzzi NA, Yu H, Modi YS, Chang S. Frequency of Urgent or Emergent Vitreoretinal Surgical Procedures in the United States During the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA Ophthalmol 2021;139(4):456-463.Abstract
Importance: The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) indicated that urgent or emergent vitreoretinal surgical procedures should continue during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Although decreases in the frequency of critical procedures have been reported outside the field of ophthalmology, analyses are limited by volume, geography, and time. Objective: To evaluate whether the frequency of ophthalmic surgical procedures deemed urgent or emergent by the AAO changed across the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. Design, Setting, and Participants: Vitreoretinal practices from 17 institutions throughout the US participated in this multicenter cross-sectional study. The frequency of 11 billed vitreoretinal Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes across respective weeks was obtained from each practice between January 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020. Data were clustered into intravitreal injections (code 67028), lasers and cryotherapy (codes 67141, 67145, and 67228), retinal detachment (RD) repairs (codes 67107, 67108, 67110, and 67113), and other vitrectomies (codes 67036, 67039, and 67040). Institutions were categorized by region (Northeast, Midwest, South, and West Coast), practice setting (academic [tax-exempt] or private [non-tax-exempt]), and date of respective statewide stay-at-home orders. Main Outcomes and Measures: Nationwide changes in the frequency of billing for urgent or emergent vitreoretinal surgical procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: A total of 526 536 CPT codes were ascertained: 483 313 injections, 19 257 lasers or cryotherapy, 14 949 RD repairs, and 9017 other vitrectomies. Relative to 2019, a weekly institutional decrease in injections was observed from March 30 to May 2, 2020, with a maximal 38.6% decrease (from a mean [SD] of 437.8 [436.3] to 273.8 [269.0] injections) from April 6 to 12, 2020 (95% CI, -259 to -69 injections; P = .002). A weekly decrease was also identified that spanned a longer interval, at least until study conclusion (March 16 to May 31, 2020), for lasers and cryotherapy, with a maximal 79.6% decrease (from a mean [SD] of 6.6 [7.7] to 1.5 [2.0] procedures) from April 6 to 12, 2020 (95% CI, -6.8 to -3.3 procedures; P < .001), for RD repairs, with a maximal 59.4% decrease (from a mean [SD] of 3.5 [4.0] to 1.6 [2.2] repairs) from April 13 to 19, 2020 (95% CI, -2.7 to -1.4 repairs; P < .001), and for other vitrectomies, with a maximal 84.3% decrease (from a mean [SD] of 3.0 [3.1] to 0.4 [0.8] other vitrectomies) from April 6 to 12, 2020 (95% CI, -3.3 to -1.8 other vitrectomies; P < .001). No differences were identified by region, setting, or state-level stay-at-home order adjustment. Conclusions and Relevance: Although the AAO endorsed the continued performance of urgent or emergent vitreoretinal surgical procedures, the frequency of such procedures throughout the country experienced a substantial decrease that may persist after the COVID-19 pandemic's initial exponential growth phase. This decrease appears independent of region, setting, and state-level stay-at-home orders. It is unknown to what extent vitreoretinal intervention would have decreased without AAO recommendations, and how the decrease is associated with outcomes. Although safety is paramount during the COVID-19 pandemic, practices should consider prioritizing availability for managing high-acuity conditions until underlying reasons for the reduction are fully appreciated.
Bresler SC, Simon C, Shields CL, McHugh JB, Stagner AM, Patel RM. Conjunctival Melanocytic Lesions. Arch Pathol Lab Med 2021;Abstract
CONTEXT.—: Conjunctival melanocytic lesions consist of a variety of neoplastic and nonneoplastic conditions. These include benign processes such as primary intraepithelial hypermelanosis and melanocytic hyperplasia, secondary forms of intraepithelial hypermelanosis and melanocytic hyperplasia, melanocytic nevi, melanocytic proliferations with malignant potential, and melanoma. OBJECTIVE.—: To provide a concise yet comprehensive resource regarding the histopathologic diagnosis of conjunctival melanocytic lesions. We aim to detail and clarify the numerous classification schemes that exist for junctional melanocytic proliferations of the conjunctiva (known as primary acquired melanosis or PAM; also termed conjunctival melanocytic intraepithelial neoplasia or C-MIN). Although not uniformly adopted, C-MIN is classified by using a numeric system based on a defined set of criteria. A less complex scheme (conjunctival melanocytic intraepithelial lesion or CMIL) has recently been proposed by the World Health Organization. Additionally, we aim to update the reader regarding molecular features and prognostic indicators. DATA SOURCES.—: Peer-reviewed literature and archived cases for illustration. CONCLUSIONS.—: Accurate histologic classification is essential, as PAM/C-MIN/CMILs that have a significant potential to progress to invasive melanoma may be clinically indistinguishable from low-risk lesions. Conjunctival melanoma (CM) more closely resembles cutaneous melanoma in terms of its pathogenesis and molecular features, compared to melanoma arising at other mucosal sites or to uveal melanoma. Depth of invasion and ulceration status, among other factors, have emerged as important prognostic indicators in CM. Sentinel lymph node biopsy may provide further prognostic information. Lastly, integration of pathologic and clinical findings is essential at this anatomically sensitive location to determine appropriate clinical management.
Brill D, Papaliodis G. Uveitis Specialists Harnessing Disruptive Technology during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):296-303.Abstract
Spurred by the coronavirus disease pandemic and shortage of eye care providers, telemedicine is transforming the way ophthalmologists care for their patients. Video conferencing, ophthalmic imaging, hybrid visits, intraocular inflammation quantification, and portable technology are evolving areas that may allow more uveitis patients to be evaluated via telemedicine. Despite these promising disruptive technologies, there remain significant technological limitations, legal barriers, variable insurance coverage for virtual visits, and lack of clinical trials for uveitis specialists to embrace telemedicine.
Brommer B, He M, Zhang Z, Yang Z, Page JC, Su J, Zhang Y, Zhu J, Gouy E, Tang J, Williams P, Dai W, Wang Q, Solinsky R, Chen B, He Z. Improving hindlimb locomotor function by Non-invasive AAV-mediated manipulations of propriospinal neurons in mice with complete spinal cord injury. Nat Commun 2021;12(1):781.Abstract
After complete spinal cord injuries (SCI), spinal segments below the lesion maintain inter-segmental communication via the intraspinal propriospinal network. However, it is unknown whether selective manipulation of these circuits can restore locomotor function in the absence of brain-derived inputs. By taking advantage of the compromised blood-spinal cord barrier following SCI, we optimized a set of procedures in which AAV9 vectors administered via the tail vein efficiently transduce neurons in lesion-adjacent spinal segments after a thoracic crush injury in adult mice. With this method, we used chemogenetic actuators to alter the excitability of propriospinal neurons in the thoracic cord of the adult mice with a complete thoracic crush injury. We showed that activating these thoracic neurons enables consistent and significant hindlimb stepping improvement, whereas direct manipulations of the neurons in the lumbar spinal cord led to muscle spasms without meaningful locomotion. Strikingly, manipulating either excitatory or inhibitory propriospinal neurons in the thoracic levels leads to distinct behavioural outcomes, with preferential effects on standing or stepping, two key elements of the locomotor function. These results demonstrate a strategy of engaging thoracic propriospinal neurons to improve hindlimb function and provide insights into optimizing neuromodulation-based strategies for treating SCI.
Brouwer NJ, Konstantinou EK, Gragoudas ES, Marinkovic M, Luyten GPM, Kim IK, Jager MJ, Vavvas DG. Targeting the YAP/TAZ Pathway in Uveal and Conjunctival Melanoma With Verteporfin. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2021;62(4):3.Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine whether YAP/TAZ activation in uveal melanoma (UM) and the susceptibility of melanoma cell lines to YAP/TAZ inhibition by verteporfin (VP) is related to the tumor's genetic background. Methods: Characteristics of 144 patients with enucleated UM were analyzed together with mRNA expression levels of YAP/TAZ-related genes (80 patients from the The Cancer Genome Atlas [TCGA] project and 64 patients from Leiden, The Netherlands). VP was administered to cell lines 92.1, OMM1, Mel270, XMP46, and MM28 (UM), CRMM1 and CRMM2 (conjunctival melanoma), and OCM3 (cutaneous melanoma). Viability, growth speed, and expression of YAP1-related proteins were assessed. Results: In TCGA data, high expression of YAP1 and WWTR1 correlated with the presence of monosomy 3 (P = 0.009 and P < 0.001, respectively) and BAP1-loss (P = 0.003 and P = 0.001, respectively) in the primary UM; metastasis development correlated with higher expression of YAP1 (P = 0.05) and WWTR1 (P = 0.003). In Leiden data, downstream transcription factor TEAD4 was increased in cases with M3/BAP1-loss (P = 0.002 and P = 0.006) and related to metastasis (P = 0.004). UM cell lines 92.1, OMM1, and Mel270 (GNAQ/11-mutation, BAP1-positive) and the fast-growing cell line OCM3 (BRAF-mutation) showed decreased proliferation after exposure to VP. Two slow-growing UM cell lines XMP46 and MM28 (GNAQ/11-mutation, BAP1-negative) were not sensitive to VP, and neither were the two conjunctival melanoma cell lines (BRAF/NRAS-mutation). Conclusions: High risk UM showed an increased expression of YAP/TAZ-related genes. Although most UM cell lines responded in vitro to VP, BAP1-negative and conjunctival melanoma cell lines did not. Not only the mutational background, but also cell growth rate is an important predictor of response to YAP/TAZ inhibition by VP.
Bryan NC, Lebreton F, Gilmore M, Ruvkun G, Zuber MT, Carr CE. Genomic and Functional Characterization of Enterococcus faecalis Isolates Recovered From the International Space Station and Their Potential for Pathogenicity. Front Microbiol 2020;11:515319.Abstract
is a multidrug resistant, opportunistic human pathogen and a leading cause of hospital acquired infections. Recently, isolates have been recovered from the air and surfaces onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Pangenomic and functional analyses were carried out to assess their potential impact on astronaut health. Genomes of each ISS isolate, and both clinical and commensal reference strains, were evaluated for their core and unique gene content, acquired antibiotic resistance genes, phage, plasmid content, and virulence traits. In order to determine their potential survival when outside of the human host, isolates were also challenged with three weeks of desiccation at 30% relative humidity. Finally, pathogenicity of the ISS strains was evaluated in the model organism At the culmination of this study, there were no defining signatures that separated known pathogenic strains from the more commensal phenotypes using the currently available resources. As a result, the current reliance on database information alone must be shifted to experimentally evaluated genotypic and phenotypic characteristics of clinically relevant microorganisms.
Burton MJ, Ramke J, Marques AP, Bourne RRA, Congdon N, Jones I, Ah Tong BAM, Arunga S, Bachani D, Bascaran C, Bastawrous A, Blanchet K, Braithwaite T, Buchan JC, Cairns J, Cama A, Chagunda M, Chuluunkhuu C, Cooper A, Crofts-Lawrence J, Dean WH, Denniston AK, Ehrlich JR, Emerson PM, Evans JR, Frick KD, Friedman DS, Furtado JM, Gichangi MM, Gichuhi S, Gilbert SS, Gurung R, Habtamu E, Holland P, Jonas JB, Keane PA, Keay L, Khanna RC, Khaw PT, Kuper H, Kyari F, Lansingh VC, Mactaggart I, Mafwiri MM, Mathenge W, McCormick I, Morjaria P, Mowatt L, Muirhead D, Murthy GVS, Mwangi N, Patel DB, Peto T, Qureshi BM, Salomão SR, Sarah V, Shilio BR, Solomon AW, Swenor BK, Taylor HR, Wang N, Webson A, West SK, Wong TY, Wormald R, Yasmin S, Yusufu M, Silva JC, Resnikoff S, Ravilla T, Gilbert CE, Foster A, Faal HB. The Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health: vision beyond 2020. Lancet Glob Health 2021;9(4):e489-e551.
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Caranfa JT, Yoon MK. Septic Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis: A Review. Surv Ophthalmol 2021;Abstract
Septic cavernous sinus thrombosis (SCST) is a rare, yet severe, process typically arising from infections of the paranasal sinuses (predominately ethmoid and/or sphenoid sinusitis) and, less commonly, otogenic, odontogenic, and pharyngeal sources. Clinical symptoms of SCST arise from obstruction of venous drainage from the orbit and compression of the cranial nerves within the cavernous sinus. In the preantibiotic era, SCST was considered universally fatal (80-100%); however, with the introduction of antibiotics the overall incidence, morbidity and mortality of SCST have greatly declined. In spite of dramatic improvements, morbidity and mortality remain high, with the majority of patients experiencing neurological sequalae, highlighting the severity of the disease and the need for prompt recognition, diagnosis, and treatment. Here we review of the literature of SCST with a focus on the current recommendations and recent evidence for diagnostic and medical management of this condition.
Carreno-Galeano JT, Dohlman TH, Yin J, Dana R. Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency Associated With Herpes Keratitis. Cornea 2021;40(8):967-971.Abstract
PURPOSE: To describe the demographic features and clinical characteristics of patients with herpes keratitis (HK) and limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) and identify possible factors associated with development of LSCD after HK. METHODS: In this retrospective case-series study, records of patients with a clinical diagnosis of HK seen at Massachusetts Eye and Ear over a 5-year period were reviewed for evidence of LSCD. Patient demographics, medical history, treatment, and best-corrected visual acuities (BCVAs) were recorded. RESULTS: We identified 626 patients with HK. Fifty-seven had been diagnosed with LSCD (9.3%). Thirteen percent of patients with herpes zoster keratitis (N= 25) and 7% of patients with herpes simplex keratitis (N= 32) had LSCD (P = 0.01). Keratitis caused by herpes zoster virus [odds ratios (OR), 1.77; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.97-3.19; P = 0.01], stromal involvement (OR, 2.28; 95% CI, 1.27-4.18; P = 0.02), and the use of topical antihypertensives (OR, 2.28; 95% CI, 1.27-4.18; P = 0.02) were found to be associated with a higher likelihood of developing LSCD. The final logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (LogMAR) BCVA was significantly lower in patients with LSCD compared with those without LSCD with a mean BCVA of 1.34 ± 1.52 LogMar (∼20/200) as compared to 0.18 ± 0.54 LogMar (∼20/30 ± 20/60) in those patients without LSCD (P = 0.005). CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that HK may be a risk factor for development of LSCD. Patients with HK should be monitored for the development of LSCD to reduce the risk of chronic ocular surface morbidity.
Carreno-Galeano JT, Dohlman TH, Kim S, Yin J, Dana R. A Review of Ocular Graft-versus-Host Disease: Pathophysiology, Clinical Presentation and Management. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2021;:1-10.Abstract
Graft-versus-host disease is a common complication following allogeneic hematopoetic stem cell transplantation that can affect multiple organ systems, including the eyes. Ocular GVHD (oGVHD) is characterized by a T cell-mediated immune response that leads to immune cell infiltration and inflammation of ocular structures, including the lacrimal glands, eyelids, cornea and conjunctiva. oGVHD has a significant negative impact on visual function and quality of life and successful management requires a multi-disciplinary approach with frequent monitoring. Here, we review the pathophysiology and clinical presentation of oGVHD, along with current therapeutic strategies based on our clinical experience and the reported literature.
Català P, Thuret G, Skottman H, Mehta JS, Parekh M, Ní Dhubhghaill S, Collin RWJ, Nuijts RMMA, Ferrari S, LaPointe VLS, Dickman MM. Approaches for corneal endothelium regenerative medicine. Prog Retin Eye Res 2021;:100987.Abstract
The state of the art therapy for treating corneal endothelial disease is transplantation. Advances in the reproducibility and accessibility of surgical techniques are increasing the number of corneal transplants, thereby causing a global deficit of donor corneas and leaving 12.7 million patients with addressable visual impairment. Approaches to regenerate the corneal endothelium offer a solution to the current tissue scarcity and a treatment to those in need. Methods for generating corneal endothelial cells into numbers that could address the current tissue shortage and the possible strategies used to deliver them have now become a therapeutic reality with clinical trials taking place in Japan, Singapore and Mexico. Nevertheless, there is still a long way before such therapies are approved by regulatory bodies and become clinical practice. Moreover, acellular corneal endothelial graft equivalents and certain drugs could provide a treatment option for specific disease conditions without the need of donor tissue or cells. Finally, with the emergence of gene modulation therapies to treat corneal endothelial disease, it would be possible to treat presymptomatic patients or those presenting early symptoms, drastically reducing the need for donor tissue. It is necessary to understand the most recent developments in this rapidly evolving field to know which conditions could be treated with which approach. This article provides an overview of the current and developing regenerative medicine therapies to treat corneal endothelial disease and provides the necessary guidance and understanding towards the treatment of corneal endothelial disease.
Caton MT, Zamani AA, Du R, Prasad S. Optic Neuropathy Due to Compression by an Ectatic Internal Carotid Artery Within the Orbital Apex. J Neuroophthalmol 2021;41(1):e103-e104.Abstract
ABSTRACT: Neurovascular compression is a rare but potentially treatable cause of optic neuropathy. Although incidental contact of the cisternal optic nerve and internal carotid artery (ICA) is common, compressive optic neuropathy occurring within the orbital apex has not been comprehensively described. We report a case of intra-orbital and intracanalicular optic nerve compression due to an ectatic ICA in a patient with congenital absence of the contralateral ICA. This report describes the complementary roles of advanced neuroimaging and neuro-ophthalmologic examination in rendering the diagnosis.
Celebi ARC, Park EA, Verticchio Vercellin AC, Tsikata E, Lee R, Shieh E, Antar H, Freeman M, Zhang J, Que C, Simavli H, McClurkin M, Guo R, Elze T, de Boer JF, Chen TC. Structure-Function Mapping Using a Three-Dimensional Neuroretinal Rim Parameter Derived From Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography Volume Scans. Transl Vis Sci Technol 2021;10(6):28.Abstract
Purpose: To assess the structure-function relationship in glaucoma using Humphrey visual field (HVF) perimetry and a three-dimensional neuroretinal rim parameter derived from spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) volume scans. Methods: Structure-function correlation was analyzed globally and regionally (four quadrants and four sectors). Structural data included peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness and minimum distance band (MDB) neuroretinal rim thickness, defined as the shortest distance between the inner cup surface and the outer retinal pigment epithelium/Bruch's membrane complex. Logarithmic regression analyses were performed and Pearson correlation coefficients determined to assess relationship strength. Results: The study consisted of 102 open-angle glaucoma patients and 58 healthy subjects. The Pearson correlation coefficient for global MDB thickness (R = 0.585) was higher than for global RNFL thickness (R = 0.492), but the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.18). The correlation coefficients for regional MDB thicknesses and corresponding HVF sensitivities were higher than those for regional RNFL thicknesses and HVF in six out of eight regions (P = 0.08 to 0.47). In the remaining two out of eight regions, the correlation coefficients were higher for RNFL thickness than for MDB thickness (P = 0.15 to 0.20). Conclusions: Three-dimensional MDB neuroretinal rim thickness relates to visual function as strongly as the most commonly used SD-OCT parameter for glaucoma, two-dimensional peripapillary RNFL thickness. Translational Relevance: This paper illustrates the potential for 3D OCT algorithms to improve in vivo imaging in glaucoma.
Chan YK, Wang SK, Chu CJ, Copland DA, Letizia AJ, Costa Verdera H, Chiang JJ, Sethi M, Wang MK, Neidermyer WJ, Chan Y, Lim ET, Graveline AR, Sanchez M, Boyd RF, Vihtelic TS, Inciong RGCO, Slain JM, Alphonse PJ, Xue Y, Robinson-McCarthy LR, Tam JM, Jabbar MH, Sahu B, Adeniran JF, Muhuri M, Tai PWL, Xie J, Krause TB, Vernet A, Pezone M, Xiao R, Liu T, Wang W, Kaplan HJ, Gao G, Dick AD, Mingozzi F, McCall MA, Cepko CL, Church GM. Engineering adeno-associated viral vectors to evade innate immune and inflammatory responses. Sci Transl Med 2021;13(580)Abstract
Nucleic acids are used in many therapeutic modalities, including gene therapy, but their ability to trigger host immune responses in vivo can lead to decreased safety and efficacy. In the case of adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors, studies have shown that the genome of the vector activates Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9), a pattern recognition receptor that senses foreign DNA. Here, we engineered AAV vectors to be intrinsically less immunogenic by incorporating short DNA oligonucleotides that antagonize TLR9 activation directly into the vector genome. The engineered vectors elicited markedly reduced innate immune and T cell responses and enhanced gene expression in clinically relevant mouse and pig models across different tissues, including liver, muscle, and retina. Subretinal administration of higher-dose AAV in pigs resulted in photoreceptor pathology with microglia and T cell infiltration. These adverse findings were avoided in the contralateral eyes of the same animals that were injected with the engineered vectors. However, intravitreal injection of higher-dose AAV in macaques, a more immunogenic route of administration, showed that the engineered vector delayed but did not prevent clinical uveitis, suggesting that other immune factors in addition to TLR9 may contribute to intraocular inflammation in this model. Our results demonstrate that linking specific immunomodulatory noncoding sequences to much longer therapeutic nucleic acids can "cloak" the vector from inducing unwanted immune responses in multiple, but not all, models. This "coupled immunomodulation" strategy may widen the therapeutic window for AAV therapies as well as other DNA-based gene transfer methods.
Chan CK, Mein CE, Glassman AR, Beaulieu WT, Calhoun CT, Jaffe GJ, Jampol LM, MacCumber MW, Maguire MG, Maturi RK, Salehi-Had H, Rofagha S, Sun JK, Martin DF, Martin DF. Pneumatic Vitreolysis with CF for Vitreomacular Traction with and without Macular Hole: DRCR Retina Network Protocols AG and AH. Ophthalmology 2021;Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate pneumatic vitreolysis (PVL) in eyes with vitreomacular traction (VMT) with and without full-thickness macular hole (FTMH). DESIGN: Two multi-center (28 sites) studies: one randomized clinical trial comparing PVL with observation (sham injection) for VMT without FTMH (Protocol AG), and a single-arm study assessing PVL for closure of FTMH (Protocol AH). PARTICIPANTS: Participants were adults with central VMT in which the vitreomacular adhesion was 3000 μm or less. In AG, visual acuity (VA) was 20/32 to 20/400. In AH, eyes had FTMH (≤250 μm at the narrowest point) and VA of 20/25 to 20/400. INTERVENTION: PVL using C3F8 gas. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Central VMT release without rescue treatment at 24 weeks (AG). FTMH closure without rescue treatment at 8 weeks (AH). RESULTS: From October 2018 to February 2020, 46 participants were enrolled in AG and 35 eligible participants were enrolled in AH. Higher than expected rates of retinal detachments and tears resulted in early termination of both protocols. Combining studies, 7 of 59 (12% [95% CI, 6%-23%]; 2 in AG, 5 in AH) eyes that received PVL developed rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (6) or retinal tear (1). At 24 weeks in AG, 18 of 23 eyes in the PVL group (78%) versus 2 of 22 eyes in the sham group (9%) had central VMT release without rescue vitrectomy (adjusted risk difference = 66% [95% CI, 44%-88%], P<.001). The mean change in VA letter score from baseline at 24 weeks in AG was 6.7 in the PVL group and 6.1 in the sham group (adjusted difference = -0.8 [95% CI, -6.1 to 4.5], P=.77; negative values indicate greater improvement in sham group). In AH,10 of 35 eyes (29% [95% CI, 16%-45%]) had FTMH closure without rescue vitrectomy at 8 weeks. The mean change in VA from baseline at 8 weeks in AH was -1.5 letters (95% CI, -10.3 to 7.3). CONCLUSIONS: In most eyes with VMT, PVL induced hyaloid release. In eyes with FTMH, PVL resulted in hole closure in approximately one third of eyes. These studies were terminated early because of safety concerns related to retinal detachments and retinal tears.
Chang EK, Gupta S, Chachanidze M, Hall N, Chang TC, Solá-Del Valle D. Safety and efficacy of microinvasive glaucoma surgery with cataract extraction in patients with normal-tension glaucoma. Sci Rep 2021;11(1):8910.Abstract
This study assesses the safety and efficacy of microinvasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) with cataract extraction in patients with normal-tension glaucoma (NTG). In our sample of 45 NTG patients, mean intraocular pressure (IOP) decreased from 13.7 to 12.3 mmHg at 2.5 years, and mean medication burden decreased from 2.0 to 1.1 at 1.5 years. For success defined as IOP reduction ≥ 30% from baseline IOP with medication burden reduction from preoperative levels, success probability was 5.4% at 1.5 years. For success defined as medication burden reduction with an IOP reaching goal IOP as determined by the glaucoma specialist, success probabilities were 67.2% at 1.5 years and 29.4% at 2.5 years. At the last follow-up visit, eyes with two MIGS procedures with different mechanisms of action achieved successful medication reduction 68.8% of the time versus 35.7% achieved by a single MIGS procedure (p = 0.052). At their last visit, visual acuity was unchanged or improved in all eyes (100%). MIGS with cataract surgery results in modest reductions in IOP and medication burden in NTG patients, which may lead to lower costs and better therapeutic compliance. A combination of two MIGS procedures with different mechanisms of action may potentially be more effective in reducing medication burden than a single MIGS procedure in NTG patients. Further research is necessary to ascertain whether MIGS for NTG patients may help decrease medication burden while helping achieve goal IOP.
Chang K, Enayati S, Cho K-S, Utheim TP, Chen DF. Non-invasive electrical stimulation as a potential treatment for retinal degenerative diseases. Neural Regen Res 2021;16(8):1558-1559.
Chang MY, Morrison DG, Binenbaum G, Heidary G, Trivedi RH, Galvin JA, Pineles SL. Home- and Office-Based Vergence and Accommodative Therapies for Treatment of Convergence Insufficiency in Children and Young Adults: A Report by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Ophthalmology 2021;Abstract
PURPOSE: To review home- and office-based vergence and accommodative therapies for treatment of convergence insufficiency (CI) in children and young adults up to 35 years of age. METHODS: Literature searches were conducted through October 2020 in the PubMed database for English-language studies. The combined searches yielded 359 abstracts, of which 37 were reviewed in full text. Twelve of these were considered appropriate for inclusion in this assessment and assigned a level of evidence rating by the panel methodologist. RESULTS: Of the 12 studies included in this assessment, 8 were graded as level I evidence, 2 were graded as level II evidence, and 2 were graded as level III evidence. Two of the level I studies included older teenagers and young adults; the remainder of the studies exclusively evaluated children. Two randomized controlled trials found that office-based vergence and accommodative therapies were effective in improving motor outcomes in children with symptomatic CI. However, the studies reported conflicting results on the efficacy of office-based therapy for treating symptoms of CI. Data were inconclusive regarding the effectiveness of home-based therapies (including pencil push-ups and home computer therapy) compared with home placebo. In young adults, office-based vergence and accommodative therapies were not superior to placebo in relieving symptoms of CI. CONCLUSIONS: Level I evidence suggests that office-based vergence and accommodative therapies improve motor outcomes in children with symptomatic CI, although data are inconsistent regarding symptomatic relief. Evidence is insufficient to determine whether home-based therapies are effective.

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